Pinterest Corner #10 – The Ultimate Goal

This week I’ve gone on a slightly different route for Pinterest Corner. There are a number of reasons for this, firstly today I’m going away for two nights and missing two days of work for our annual sales conference, so the last few days have been absolutely manic and time has just flown. As well as work craziness I was a busy bee on both Monday and Tuesday nights, so blog posts have had to be written during my precious lunch hour, in between blog reading, tweeting and errands – which hasn’t really left time to ‘do’ any of the inspiring things I’ve seen on Pinterest recently. I know this sounds like a dreadful excuse but real life has hit, and it’s hit hard this week!

However, all is not lost as this sort of fits perfectly with what I want to chat about today! Over the weekend I was browsing through my Pinterest boards and stumbled across my Fitness board and saw something that really struck a chord with me. The pin was this:

Pinned Image

Now the reason this struck such a chord with me is because I’ve been at a bit of a plateau with my weight loss for a while. I know I wrote in my resolutions post earlier this year that I wanted to lose the remaining weight and reach my goal after a year of improving my health and dropping about three dress sizes, but things haven’t really been going to plan. I’ve been losing and gaining one or two pounds since Christmas and basically seem to have stayed the same in terms of weight for the last three months or so. This has got me ever so slightly depressed and reaching for the mini eggs – which was the problem in the first place! Yes I seem to have fallen into the ‘Why am I bothering?’ mentality, which is not great.

But when I stopped and looked at this image and really thought about what it was saying I had a mini brain wave and realised that actually it’s not about losing weight it’s about being fit and healthy. Something that I can’t honestly say was the case a year ago, but that has changed since I started my new way of thinking. And this has continued over the last few months even if the weight loss hasn’t followed the same track. How do I know this? Well this time last year I almost died (slight exaggeration) when I had to run for 30 seconds – yes seriously. If it wasn’t so serious it would actually have been laughable! At the weekend I completed a 10k. Not only that but I ran/walked it in only 26 minutes more than the 5k that I ran in May – a full 15 minutes faster that I anticipated. That to me shows that I am heading in the right direction. I may not be losing the weight I wanted or looking how I dream in my mind’s eye – although how many people do I wonder?! – but I am improving my fitness every day. And that at the end of the day is the important thing – that’s the thing that’s going to make me more energetic. Make me able to do more. And make me a happier person. It’s not about the clothes I can fit into. It’s about the fact that I ran 10k and can’t wait until May when I can beat that time.

So yes, sorry for the rambling post, but this seemed like an appropriate topic for today. A moment to stop and think:  I have achieved something and to reassess what is actually important.  Have you faced any similar issues in the past where you’ve had to stop and take stock to remind yourself that you’re doing okay? Please tell me I’m not the only one?!

Starshop #5 – Typo

Over the weekend while I was having sofa time with mini eggs and window shopping I stumbled upon the Typo website and I remembered how much I loved this shop when I discovered it on my travels last year! It’s part of the Cotton On chain of shops in Australia and I must have visited the outlet in Darling Harbour about 5 times when I was there last April. I couldn’t help it as everything in the shop is unbelievably cute and nice and just totally me! I had to be fairly restrained when I was in Oz last year because of a limited amount of baggage, which my credit card company were probably quite pleased about as I could have bought everything in there quite easily! So anyway below are my current favourites from this brilliant shop – enjoy having a peruse. I’m not sure what shipping costs are like, but to be honest I don’t think I can handle looking – what if it’s cheaper that I anticipate? No way I can’t look, I’m going have to tell  myself it’s super expensive which is why I mustn’t buy any of the lovely products!

Satchel – Book Ends – Wrapping Paper – Chalkboard Frame – Hello Cushion – Manilla Folders – Initial Mug – Notebook – Bird File Organiser – Stamps  – Paris Labels – Whale Canvas

A lovely quiet week (sort of)

Last week was lovely and quiet and I’m glad because I really needed some downtime! In no particular order here’s what I got up to:

  • A trip to The National Theatre (yes again!) to see Hymn, a half hour performance of music and readings – really very good!
  • A good hour or so in Starbucks with old issues of The Simple Things magazine and a mocha
  • Discovering Easter French Fancies in Sainsbury’s and somehow not buying them – go me!
  • My 10 k run in Richmond, featuring snowflakes, bitter temperatures,  deer and a much better time than I anticipated
  • Discovering a lovely restaurant round the corner from my flat that does the most amazing food and has a hidden wall of bookshelves
  • Spending the day with old work colleagues and their gorgeous little kids
  • Finally watching Sleeping Beauty for the first time in about 20 years – gosh it looks sooooo dated!
  • A day trip out of London to see the sea
  • A marathon of Suits – hilarious
  • Discovering the Etsy app and buying an iPhone case, oops!
  • Dominos pizza
  • Lots of leisurely walks

Weekend Wishlist

It’s so cold at the moment that today it seemed logical to abandon plans for The British Museum and instead do nothing. Nothing that is but sit bundled up on the sofa, scoffing mini eggs whilst I perused various online shops and daydreamed about what I’d spend my lottery winnings on if it’s ever more that £10 – oh please let it happen sometime soon. So after a very productive day spent window shopping from the comfort of my flat I’ve found a whole host of items I am just itching to purchase. But I’m ignoring this urge and instead I’m just going to sit here staring at the lovely things as I treat myself to another mini egg or three. Scoffing two bags in one weekend isn’t that obscene is it?!

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It appears from the above that I’m having a bit of a lace dress obsession and another one with blue bird themed jumpers – who’d have thought it!! The black beanie is certainly necessary with the cold weather at the moment and I’ve wanted that Country Road bag for about 10 years, but at £40 I don’t think it’s justifiable as it’s not essential for my existence! The cushion is on my list, even though it goes with nothing in my flat because it has cute neon pom poms on it – do I need any further reason?! – and finally I’ve never been able to say no to a pair of cowboy boots, hence the fact I already own a pair, but these have gold studs, gold studs I tell you – AMAZING! With these boots I can kid myself that I’m in Nashville or married to Dennis Quaid in Vegas – yes you’re right I am obsessed with every show currently airing on Sky Atlantic!!

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

veryinspiringblogaward

I was rather surprised to get a message from Emma at Clementine and Lace this morning to say she’d nominated me as one of her 15 chosen blogs in the Very Inspiring Blogger Awards, how kind and how unexpected. Thanks Emma! So as part of being a nominee I get to share some facts about myself and then nominate my own 15 inspiring bloggers – argh that’s super tricky!!  I follow so many brilliant blogs that it took me FOREVER to choose them! The rules are below, followed by seven (possibly) interesting facts about me and my choices for the Very Inspiring Blogger Awards.

Rules:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State seven things about yourself.
4. Nominate fifteen other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Seven things about me:

  1. I’m currently having a huge obsession with mini eggs, they make my life complete.
  2. I love a good board game, you can’t go wrong with a game of Articulate or Trivial Pursuit (only the recent versions mind you, none of the Genus editions EVER)!
  3. I love watching sports – golf, cricket, rugby, football, athletics are my favourites. I can’t really get behind tennis or darts I’m afraid.
  4. I got one A* in my GCSE’s and it was in Food Technology – go me!
  5. I studied History at University but I’m not a fan of history before 1600 – I just hate all the uncertainty around it.
  6. I find it hard to leave Paperchase without having bought at least a card
  7. I love Disney and Pixar films, simply put they make me smile.

My Very Inspiring Blogger Awards Nominees –

In a totally random order below are some of my favourite blogs and those whose posts I head to first when going through my Bloglovin feed!

  1. Charlotte’s Web – I love Charlotte’s blog as her updates are so varied. I particularly enjoyed this post and this post recently. 
  2. How Sweet it is – This is such a lovely blog, with some absolutely scrumptious looking recipes. Plus Jennie is hilarious. I defy you to not salivate while reading this post and laugh-out-loud reading this one.
  3. Lau’s Rambling Corner – I might be biased as Lau is my lovely sister BUT her blog is brilliant. Her posts make me laugh and I wish I had her flair with writing, check our her latest Week in Pictures post here, her post about pancakes and her Top Five Winter Warmers post here to see what I mean.
  4. Made up of Little Things – Rachael’s blog is lovely, every time I read one of her Friday Round Up posts I want to switch places with her as it looks so wonderful!
  5. Bright.Bazaar – I love the colours and images on Will’s blog – so inspiring and Will always manages to find brilliant products. Oh how I’m coveting this wallpaper and this gorgeous bookcase.
  6. The Style Box –  This is a great blog, with lots of brilliant posts. I personally enjoy the 5 Friday Favourites posts as I always find new blogs to follow and I want Emma’s mantlepiece!
  7. A Rosie Outlook – I love everything about Rosie’s blog, it’s really pretty and her posts are great. Recent favourites include this one and this one – I want this bobbin lamp!
  8. Chocolate Covered Katie – This blog is about healthy desserts, so I don’t think any more explanation is needed! If you feel the need for further explanation though, just check out this post, mouth-watering or what?!
  9. Domestic Sluttery – I love the Domestic Sluttery blog, it’s full of scrummy food, lovely clothes and pretty products perfect for coveting, plus the team behind it are hilarious! I want to eat these, buy these and wear this paperclip jumper!
  10. Franish –  I love Franziska’s simple style and want to own all her shoes. I also enjoy her writing style and love her Behind the Blog features.
  11. I heart Organizing – I love Jennifer’s ability to organise anything and everything and to make it look beautiful at the same time. If I one day have an ounce of her skill I’ll be pleased. If I could also own her pantry one day I think my life will be complete!
  12. Miss. Thrifty – This blog is super helpful about all manner of things and Miss. Thrifty’s Granola recipe is a life-saver!
  13. One Sheepish Blog – I love everything about this blog, particularly the lovely Weekend Plans posts – they’re always so simple
  14. Story of My Life – Jenni has such a lovely writing style and this amazing ability to take beautiful pictures. I really enjoyed her recent blogging tips posts and her love story is beautifully written.
  15. Our Little Balham Life – I love reading Nicola’s post as she’s a fellow Londoner and it’s lovely to read someone else’s perspective of life south of the river. I will definitely be making these yummy treats and I love this ‘I will never be…’ post.

So there we have it, my top 15 blogs, I hope you enjoy perusing their blogs and find them as inspiring as I do! xx

Getting my craft on!

A friend of mine recently shared this cute image of crochet elephants on Facebook and I immediately fell in love. I mean they are just adorable aren’t they? As well as being in absolute awe at their cuteness these mini elephants stirred slight feelings of inadequacy in me. This inadequacy stems not from my inability to make these cute creatures, but rather that there’s been a total lack of anything crafty in my life for about six months. I used to love knitting and have made monkeys, scarves and pigs in the past, yet I currently have a half started creation at home that I haven’t touched since way before Christmas. It’s been so long that I can’t even remember what creature it was going to be, potentially it was going to morph into a bunny rabbit, but alas it currently looks like a few stitches of blue wool.

I’m not sure why I’ve lost my crafting mojo but seeing this cute pic has inspired me to get back on the crafting wagon, as having looked back at my Crafty Bits and Bobs board on Pinterest there’s lots of stuff I want to get making. I mean look at those cute mouse baby shoes, that bow scarf and that bobble jumper – all must makes I think for this year. I also want to attempt to learn to crotchet, now I don’t imagine I’ll end up with anything as awesome as these elephants, but it would be good to make something, even if it’s just crotchet hearts or maybe the holly leaves below.

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So as part of this desire to get back into my crafty stuff I’ve been having a bit of a peruse online at different craft books to inspire me! The result? I now want to purchase loads of books, they all look and sound so inspiring that I can’t help it. Below are some of my favourite ones, and I’m going to have to guard my credit card well if I don’t want to have money issues this month! Yes granted they aren’t all crafty ones, there are a few food related books in here, but I think they all fall under the title of Inspiring Books. Are there any really inspiring crafty books that you’d recommend, I’m all ears!

Sewing Made SimpleYou are Awesome Bake it in a Cupcake

Let’s Preserve ItMini AmigurumiQueen of Crafts

Cute Little Animals CraftDecorate Workshop

Pinterest Corner #9 – Dollops of Spinach Mac ‘n’ Cheese

I pinned these scrumptious looking spinach mac ‘n’ cheese dollops in my very early days on Pinterest as they sounded like a really simple way of making pasta a bit more interesting. Once I pinned the recipe I promptly forgot about them as you do on Pinterest and I would probably never have made them if it wasn’t for last weeks Disney Marathon. My desire to make something savoury and simple, yet interesting (not an easy combo to be honest!) for that night meant I rested all my hopes on my Savoury Yumminess board which is full of yummy looking delights, and voila these were rediscovered. What’s great about them is you will have all the ingredients in the cupboard (except perhaps the Gruyère) and they literally take no time at all.

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All you do is make a cheese sauce (flour, butter, milk, mature cheddar cheese and Gruyère)
Cook your macaroni
Mix the macaroni, the sauce and the spinach in a bowl and dollop into your cake cases
Easy peasy!

The recipe I found from Emily Bites  suggested that you should add egg to the sauce to help the dollops* of mixture bind, but I found that unnecessary as they stayed together fine. But it’s obviously entirely up to you! I cooked about 500g of macaroni and made about 14 mini mac ‘n’ cheeses.

What I loved most about these (apart from the taste) is that you put the mixture in cake cases rather than a big serving dish, I never would have thought of this. It made it so easy to eat them whilst watching Cinderella and it’s also perfect for taking to work for lunch. I wonder what other things you could make in these little cases for a lunchtime delight, mini pies or mini lasagnas perhaps. I may have to investigate a few other options!

*How brilliant a word is dollops? I should use this word more often in everyday life!

Happy things!

It seems to have been a while since I shared what is keeping me smiling in a Smiley Happy Things post. I’m not sure why that’s been the case but let us rectify that right now! So what are the things that I’m happy to have in my life at the mo, what have I rediscovered and what things brighten up my day at the moment? Where to start!!

Mochas – I’m fairly certain these lovely warming drinks have made an appearance on a previous Smiley Happy Things post in the past (oh yes look, here they are!). But I’m having so many of them at the moment and love them so much they had to be mentioned again. Simply put they warm me up instantly, make me smile and instantly improve my day. I’m sure I shouldn’t drink my feelings but I do and these are certainly my drink of choice!

The Following – I’m so in love with this show its ridiculous. I’m not sure why as it makes me jump in fright ALL THE TIME! Yet something about it has me hooked, probably something to do with the mesmerising acting and gripping storyline. I’m still a couple of episodes behind, so no spoilers please, but let me know if you’re enjoying it as much as me. And if you’ve not discovered it yet, then rectify that asap, it’s brilliant! Here’s the trailer to whet your appetite.

Baking – I’ve been baking a lot recently and I’ve been really enjoying it. I’d be hard pressed to decide on a favourite recipe as everything’s been so scrumptious – Mini Egg Blondies, Red Velvet Cupcakes, Brownies and Biscuits – and it’s been good to be baking. I think next up might have to be these Blackberry Pie Bars from Pink Parsley. Don’t they just look scrumptious?

The Footloose episode of Will and Grace – Watching the lovely Kevin Bacon  in The Following reminded me of a great episode of Will and Grace where the friends met the real Kevin Bacon and Will and Kevin do the dance from Footloose. When I first watched it it made me laugh so much and thankfully that doesn’t seem to have changed. I’ve been watching it loads recently and it still cracks me up every time. It’s simply hilarious thanks to the ‘it’s all about the arm swinging’, the enthusiasm they both show, the instant switch in Will’s demeanour when the music starts and of course the hand clap! Amazing, if you’ve not seen that episode there’s a clip here – absolute genius.

Popcorn – I seem to have become obsessed with making my own popcorn recently! Ever since I discovered how easy it is to make it at home (all you need is oil and a saucepan, it’s so easy how did I not discover this sooner!) it’s like I’ve turned a corner in my snacking life! I’m not kidding I’ve been eating it all the time and I’ve started to introduce more ingredients – m&m’s, mini marshmallows and left over chocolate brownies have all made an appearance so far. Although to be honest popcorn kernels and agave syrup works just as well. I suppose it’s not a bad snack obsession to have, but still I think I need to reign it in a smidge!

Fun time lately

This week has been a fantastic week, it has flown by and it’s been absolutely loads of fun! It started with me having great intentions of snacking on healthy things rather than the usual collection of chocolatey goods. With this idea in mind I took all sorts of healthy snacks with me to work on Monday including  grapes, a banana and Graze boxes, sadly I failed to ignore the pull of the chocolate and I still have one Graze box on my desk, oops! Oh well, maybe this coming week then? On Monday night I watched Shrek with work friends and I still can’t decide what I thought about it. I have mixed feelings about it – I fear it was perhaps a bit too pantomimey, although I did enjoy the song at the end and all the nursery rhyme characters! The penny sweets from Hope and Greenwood were a revelation though – you can’t beat fried eggs and pink mushrooms can you!?

The Big Egg Hunt Launched on Tuesday and I headed to Covent Garden to see all the lovely eggs, this National Rail egg is my favourite one I think. Aren’t the colours wonderful and the papercut of the London skyline is just lovely and delicate, so not what I expected from the National Rail at all, but well done them! Tuesday night was full of pancakes, we made a tower of about 15 and had lots of scrumptious toppings, I have to say mini marshmallows on a pancake is certainly a revelation. I will definitely be a lot more pancakes with that topping in the future! I also got a bit carried away with Vine when I was making pancakes, it was sooooo much fun. Feel free to follow me on Vine if you’ve started to use it, I’m Fi Evans on there.

On Friday I headed to Peppa Pig World for a work meeting and it was such an amazing place! I wish I was a 4-year-old all over again so I could have felt the excitement that kids do when visiting it. It’s truly so much fun. We had a tour of the park and even got to go on the Dinosaur Ride – AMAZING!!! On Friday night there was a Disney Marathon with friends, where we watched Cinderella, Mulan and Beauty and the Beast and ate Disney inspired food. We had Ursula mac ‘n’ cheese parcels, Ratatouille inspired quiche, pesto pastries, princess cupcakes, princess popcorn and Minnie Mouse Cupcakes. The food was totally delicious and the films as wonderful as I remember. I do feel sad for our neighbours though as there was some interesting noises when we were singing – and I use the term singing in the loosest sense!

Saturday was a totally relaxed day with a little bit of pootling round the shops (I returned with no shopping bags though, hooray!), a trip to the cinema to watch Beautiful Creatures and a lot of slobbing on the sofa – perfect! Sunday in comparison was full on! It started with a 9am run along the river from The National to Southwark Bridge, then all the way to Westminster and then back to The National Theatre. It was 3.75 miles in total, in just over 40 minutes, so I think this bodes well for next weeks 10k. It was lovely to be out in London so early and see the city at it’s best, it really is so beautiful! Plus I also saw the Dalek Invasion on Westminster Bridge – very random! After an early morning run it was back to the flat for Lau and I as where we cooked our first ever roast dinner for a friend. It was a little bit stressful at times getting everything cooked at once, but it was definitely a huge success. It was simply delicious, the chicken was perfectly cooked and really moist and the potatoes were wonderfully crispy – I’m so impressed with myself. Thanks are due to the BBC Good Food site though as we did have to turn to this recipe and this one too to get it all done! The lovely roast was followed by a classic film, Three Men and a Little Lady, which I haven’t watched for years and absolutely adore. It’s just so brilliant, I think I’ve watched it about 150 times in my life, yet it still gets me at all the same points – Ted Danson’s vicar reveal, the liver mousse, the ingenious rap, playing hide-and-seek game with the butler and of course the cringe-making Fiona Shaw when she’s coming on to the wonderful Tom Selleck. Gosh I love that film. The Perfect Sunday was rounded off by snoozes on the sofa, finishing Insurgent, blogging and TV watching – win!

Star Shop #4 – Oliver Bonas

Oliver Bonas is a shop that is my total guilty pleasure. Whenever I walk past one of the three in my local area, I have to pop in, there’s absolutely no way I can walk past without taking a peek in. It’s just a treasure trove of wonders, sadly there’s never anything in there that is essential to my existence so I’ve only ever purchased the odd birthday card or small gift from there. But I do dream that one day I’ll be able to go in there and buy the gorgeous dress or pretty necklace I have my eye on. Who knows it could happen! Below are some of my favourite items, and I know that one or two of these will be popping up in my soon-to-be-written birthday list!

Beautiful necklaces which will go with any outfit. One with a bird and heart and the other featuring lovely gold birds.

Look at this snuggly heart jumper – I love the colour combination!

This grey and neon yellow belt features another beautiful colour combination – want!

This photo frame would go perfectly on our living room photo wall, I just adore the mix of frames and colours.

Couldn’t you just get lost in this gorgeous velvet chair, decadent or what?! Best bit about it? It’s called the love tub!

I love the colour of and illustrations on these alphabet phone cases, I can’t’ wait to see the design of the ‘F’ case.

Oh so pretty dress, how I yearn to one day own and wear your beautiful turquoise, bird-patterned loveliness.

This ring is wowness, I like the subtle glitteryness in it and will certainly be treating myself to this/putting it on my birthday list!

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